Living the IIT Dream
Suraj, a resident of Mumbai, remembers joining Akanksha at an extremely young age of five years. He belongs to the very first batch of our Abhyudaya Nagar School and comes from a family of equally bright siblings who have worked hard to receive the best education possible in spite of their humble background. Suraj’s father sells vegetables and mother is a homemaker. Both his parents feel that education is important and have encouraged their children to study.
Suraj recently secured a seat at IIT Kharagpur and we are proud to share this inspiring story which revolves around his willingness to achieve the IIT DREAM as well as the determination it required to pave his way through the hardships of life as a student.
Journey At Akanksha
During his early days at Akanksha, he had the chance to represent his school at several events. His interactions with people from different walks of life opened up a world of opportunities for him. As a child, Suraj enjoyed writing poems and interacting with everyone around.
Suraj believes the little experiences throughout his school life made him a people’s person which not only allowed him to build a huge network but also strengthened his confidence.
One such incident that played a major role in shaping his value system was a field trip in grade 9. This camp was organised for a period of five days and was headed by their teacher. She introduced the students to various communities in order to try and assimilate their understanding of society as a whole. Suraj and his friends came across a disadvantaged group of people who lived under a bridge. Upon meeting and mingling with some of the members there, a woman’s powerful words struck Suraj and her approach towards life completely changed his world view. This woman who had recently lost her child, casually said, “What’s gone is gone. We cannot change the reality. Such is life and we must keep going. We must move on.” This moment deeply moved Suraj and set the foundation of his philosophy in life.
Soon, his time spent at school came to an end and a very happy go lucky Suraj followed his heart to practice drama and theatre at the American School of Bombay. At the same time, he was also puzzled like every other child when it came to deciding “what’s next?”
Yash Kumar, a former TFI fellow and teacher at Akanksha surprised his students and took them along to visit IIT Bombay. Suraj was in awe of the campus; its long corridors, the energy of the students and buildings surrounded by greenery left him in wonder. Shortly after the IIT tour, he took up the challenge of securing a seat there one day. After making that promise to his teacher, he has never looked back.
Transforming Dreams Into a Reality
Suraj had always enjoyed maths so engineering seemed like a perfect fit for him. In a few weeks, he joined Champion Classes, a coaching institute for students aspiring to get admitted to IIT. This place became his home ground and his abode for learning. The sincerity and discipline with which most students prepared made Suraj question himself. This space of rigorous training was an eye-opener for him. He began to push himself more than ever to recognise his true potential. Earlier, his scores would barely match those at the top but with consistent practice and efforts, Suraj began to witness growth in his own scores which in turn increased his overall performance. It is true that if you focus and fuel your thoughts in the right direction you can overcome every challenge. Suraj had finally developed the courage and he knew it was the right choice.
The biggest takeaway for him during this journey was that no matter what others tell you if you believe in yourself your hard work will pay off. Suraj also realised the benefits of maintaining strong bonds with his teachers at Akanksha. It was Yash, his grade two teacher who supported him and turned into his life guide in these past few years. “The fact that Akanksha teachers kept always kept in touch and stayed connected also helped and guided me in a big way”, says Suraj
“ I would like to give only one advice to my peers at Akanksha - It is very important to surround yourself with the right people. Your company will determine who you are and who you want to be, so choose wisely.” - Suraj Gupta